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Concours D'Elegance Of America At St. John's - Events Begin July 25, 2013


Celebrating Excellence in Automobile History and Design

By Steve Purdy
Photos By Gary Purdy and Bob Benko
Michigan Bureau

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For those who want to immerse themselves in automobile history and schmooze with those fortunate folks who own and manage the most prestigious collections of classic and collectable cars, motorcycles and other things vehicular in the world your chance is coming up next week, culminating on Sunday, July 28th. Aficionados will know the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s as the successor to the famous Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance that charmed show-goers for more than 30 years at one of the Detroit regions favorite auto-baron mansions. It now happens at the St. John’s Conference Center and golf course – formerly a Catholic Seminary – in Plymouth, a western suburb of Detroit.

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Beginning with a luxurious induction dinner for the Automotive Hall of Fame on Thursday evening the activities fill the entire weekend including a celebration of automobile art, as special show of Italian cars, a high-end RM Auction of classic and collectable cars, a motoring tour, concerts, seminars and other activities leading to the exhibit of 275 special cars on Sunday that includes a presentation of historic fashions called Mode du Concours.

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The Automotive Hall of Fame in nearby Dearborn began honoring the movers and shakers of the automobile industry in the 1940s. Browsing through that museum you’ll find an endless stream of familiar names and the often-surprising stories that go with them. This year’s honorees include industry mogul “Maximum Bob” Lutz, father of automobile design, Harley Earl, Center for Automotive Research founder David Cole and racing icon Sir Jackie Stewart.

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Throughout the weekend you’ll be able to peruse some of the finest automobile fine art in the world by Tom Hale, Charlie Maher, Daniel Brown, Gerald Freeman, Jay Koka, Steven Macy, Dan McCrary, Tony Sikorski, David Snyder, Francois Bruere (this year’s poster artist) and Alex Buchan. Most of these artists are members of the Automotive Fine Art Society and represent the best of that art genre.

RM Auctions of Ontario present some of the finest classic car auctions around the world and here at St. John’s they will host a preview of offerings on Friday evening with auction beginning on Saturday at 11 AM. More than 80 cars and motorcycles will cross the block including a 1929 Deusenberg Model J Dual-Cowl Phaeton valued at close to a million dollars.

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Car Selection Committee chairman, Brian Joseph, and his exceptional team created and filled nearly two-dozen classes of vehicles including: a class of cars from 1905 that either competed or could have competed in the early London to Brighton Race; a “Gas Light Class” of cars from 1906 to 1914; a class called “Detroit Iron” representing the Detroit-made luxury cars from the early 1930s; a Prewar European class; Post-War Sports Cars; modern “Supercars”; “Amazing Race Cars” class with racers back to a 1907 Fiat; “Electric Cars” from the very beginning with an 1889 Edison through more modern cars like the GM Impact and current electric as well; a “Great Race” class for cars that have competed in that epic rally; and a class of “Dealer Supercars,” primarily muscle cars of the 60s and 70s altered and sold by specialty dealers around the country.

That is but a sampling of the classes being assembled for the Sunday Concours d’Elegance at St. Johns. Check their Website for full details.

If there were just one car show on your calendar for the season, this ought to be it.

For details on the Concours d’Elegance of America see:

For details on the Automotive Hall of Fame and its event see:

We hope to see you there.

©Steve Purdy, Shunpiker